Monthly Archives: October 2016

Bill Would Give Temporary Work Visas to Foreign Fishermen

long line vesselsU.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono plans to introduce a bill in Congress to protect foreign fishermen from exploitation. The bill would give fishermen temporary work visas to ensure wage protections and safe working conditions. Hirono said in a statement Monday that the legislation aims to protect the fishermen while preserving the longline industry. She says the visas would allow foreign fishermen to leave their vessels while docked in Honolulu. The proposal follows an Associated Press investigation that found some fishermen have been confined to vessels for years. A federal loophole allows the foreign men to work, but it exempts them from most basic labor protections. Hirono says she’s also working with federal agencies to find solutions that don’t involve legislation. link 20:13

Pacific Northwest fishing industry took big hit in 2015

ar-161039999-jpgmaxw600Demonstrating links between ocean health and the economy, the definitive annual federal report on U.S. fisheries released last week showed a plunge in some West Coast catches in 2015. Washington state’s total commercial catch in 2015 was 363 million pounds valued at $274.2 million, a decline of 35 percent by volume and 23.5 percent by value from 2014, according to “Fisheries of the United States 2015,” published last week by the National Marine Fisheries Service. But all was not gloom and doom: For example, West Coast landings of shrimp and albacore tuna were up, despite the warmer and less-nutritious waters associated with the ocean heat wave dubbed the Blob. This patch of warm water off the Pacific Northwest began forming in 2013 and persisted for two years before temporarily dissipating. Oregon’s commercial landings also were down, falling to about 195.5 million pounds last year, 33 percent less than in 2014. That catch was sold for $115.7 million, 26.6 percent less than 2014. How ports compare,,, Read the article here 18:07

Keith Sullivan says FFAW will not allow 45 years of progress be torn apart by upstart FISH-NL

keithsullivanffawThe president of Newfoundland and Labrador’s fisheries union says a breakaway group of harvesters could hurt, rather than help, their cause. Keith Sullivan of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union says his members are worried by an attempt to de-certify the union. “The message I am getting from the members is that we are not going to sit back and watch 45 years of progress and hard work by thousands and thousand of members be just torn apart,” Sullivan told CBC’s Central Morning Show Monday. He said the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL), led by former journalist and member of parliament Ryan Cleary, has no real plan as to how to proceed. Sullivan acknowledges there are problems in the fishery, but the FFAW will continue to provide effective representation for its members. (and WWF!) Read the story here 16:51

Operation Game Thief Reward offered for info in Hancock County lobster ‘trap war’

me_maine_marine_patrolAn escalating “trap war” taking place in the coastal waters of Hancock County has cost lobstermen hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost gear and is prompting state officials to authorize a reward for information. The territorial dispute, in which fishermen have cut surface buoys from each others’ traps, has been heated since early summer, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources. The cutting has been centered on the boundary line between lobster fishing zones B and C, which runs through Blue Hill Bay from Newbury Neck in Surry to Swan’s Island. “This trap war is without a doubt the most costly loss of gear I have witnessed in my 32-year career with the Maine Marine Patrol,” Col. Jon Cornish, head of DMR’s law enforcement division, said Monday. “In this instance, [total] gear loss is estimated to far exceed $350,000 dollars.” Read the story here 16:01

Santa Cruz harbor mouth dredging scheduled to begin

ar-161039993-jpgmaxh400maxw667As crab season approaches, work to dredge the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor’s mouth is scheduled to begin Nov. 7. The new dredging season, coming after a difficult El Niño-plagued previous winter plagued by harbor mouth closures, is the maiden voyage for new harbor dredge, the Twin Lakes. Dredge builder DSC Dredge and port district’s dredging consultant CF Bean will be on hand for equipment setup, crew training and efficiency testing, Port Director Lisa Ekers said. Work has already begun elsewhere in the harbor, with crews initially focusing on north harbor dredging and installation of dredge equipment add-ons, according to Ekers. Read the rest here 13:54

Scientists warn Government against recommendations to wind back marine reserves – In particular ‘no-take’ zones

david-boothA group of scientists is urging the Government not to wind back the scale of the nation’s 40 marine reserves, contrary to the advice of an advisory panel on the matter. The panel is recommending the removal of an area almost twice the size of Tasmania from the protected zones where mining and fishing are banned. But the scientists, known as the Ocean Science Council, said cuts of that size could be devastating to marine life. Professor David Booth, a member of the council and a professor of marine ecology, said he and his colleagues had concerns over the advice given to the Government. “We welcome the review, there are a lot of good points to it, but what we’re really concerned with is these bioregional panels — which recommended the zoning of the parks in areas around Australia — fall well short of what was recommended,” he said. “In particular, the marine national park ‘no-take’ zones, which are the gold standard for looking after marine biodiversity, have been eroded.” Read the story here 12:47

Successful PNA vessel days scheme

Five years ago managing the PNA fisheries was mostly done with a calculator and pencil, and with data sent by fax or email. Today, the fishery that is generating US$400 million a year to nine Pacific islands is managed by the Parties to the Nauru Agreement’s Fisheries Information Management System (FIMS) that allows managers to know what is taking place in their fishing zone with a tap of their computer keyboards. ‘It provides easy access to fisheries information for increasingly effective management of PNA’s Vessel Day Scheme (VDS) that governs purse seine fishing in the western and central Pacific,’ said PNA CEO Ludwig Kumoru, who added that the VDS and the FIMS management tool is also being rolled out for the longline industry. ‘FIMS shows each party’s usage of fishing days and the percentage of days left,’ said Ms. Jack. The PNA Office coordinates this fishing day data with each fishery department in the nine islands using the VDS, including resolving any differences between the national fishery department and the PNA Office in determining fishing day usage. Day-to-day VDS management of fishing day data translates directly into major revenue for each VDS participant. Between 2010 and 2015, revenue to the islands rose from US$60 million to close to US$400 million. Watch the video,Read the story here 11:07

1st Biloxi Bay oyster harvest of 21st century opens Tuesday

biloxi oystersFor the first time in at least 40 years, Biloxi Bay will open for oyster harvesting. The state Department of Marine Resources said in a news release reefs in the Biloxi Bay portion of the Mississippi Sound will open at sunrise Tuesday. DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller says the harvest of oysters for the first time in 40-plus years in Biloxi Bay is nothing less than historic. Miller says the opening of the oyster reefs confirms water quality has improved in the Bay. Officials say harvesting is limited to oyster tonging. No dredging will be allowed. The limit is 15 sacks per day. Artificial reefs will not be open for oyster harvesting. There will be a station in the Ocean Springs Harbor for fishermen to check in and out each day. link 10:26

Unusual policy allows Massachusetts Environmental Police to interrupt shifts to work private details

Massachusetts Environmental PoliceFor a decade, the Massachusetts Environmental Police have operated under an unusual paid-detail policy that national law-enforcement experts warn could jeopardize officers’ commitment to public safety. The practice, known as splitting shifts, allows Environmental Police officers to interrupt their regularly scheduled duties to work a paid detail, provided that they return to work afterward and complete their required hours. It is virtually unheard of among police departments, but a similar policy was in place in New Orleans when the Department of Justice X-rayed that city’s Police Department in 2011. The federal agency found that the NOPD’s split-shift policy was a possible incentive for officers to prioritize extra money over public safety. “Just looking at it from a distance, it looks like it would complicate the ability to separate public work from private work, and that is a huge problem,” said Ed Davis, the former superintendent of the Lowell and Boston police departments. He and other law-enforcement experts questioned whether an Environmental Police officer would be as likely to make an arrest or take any police action if that action meant the officer wouldn’t be able to make it to a private paid detail on time. Read the story here 09:47

Do sharks like biting on submarine internet cables? The captain of a cable ship reveals all

That the internet is physical can be hard to grasp. Few people have experienced this fact as viscerally as Guillaume Le Saux, captain of a ship named Pierre de Fermat. It’s a state-of-the-art vessel that’s part of a fleet owned by French telecom company Orange, designed to lay and repair the optical fiber cables that criss-cross the world’s seabeds. The life of a cable-ship captain is pretty intense. Le Saux is on constant alert, ready to be dispatched to the middle of an ocean with a couple of hours’ notice. This can sometimes mean sailing into 20-foot waves, receiving ransoms, or fixing up a shark’s chew toy. When Le Saux arrives at the appointed spot at sea, he and his crew deploy Hector, the ship’s seven ton underwater robot, which will travel to the seabed, sometimes at depths of 5,000 meters. Hector’s job is to inspect the damage, bury newly laid cable on the sea-floor, or help bring damaged sections up to the ship’s jointing room, all controlled from the ship’s deck. Read the story here 17:28

Billionaire crony corporatist schemes – Financing “green” companies and enviro groups, getting richer off taxpayers and consumers

wind farmShady cash from Vladimir Putin’s Russian energy oligarchs and other rich donors is being laundered through Bermuda-based lawyers and middlemen to “green” pressure groups, lobbyists and spinmeisters – to promote “green energy” schemes that bring billions of dollars from government agencies (and thus from us taxpayers and consumers) to a cabal of billionaires and crony companies. At the epicenter are hedge fund millionaire Nathaniel Simons, his wife Laura and their secretive Sea Change Foundation. “Investors” become even wealthier, as billions of dollars are transferred annually to environmentalists, scientists, politicians, bureaucrats and crony-corporatists in Renewable Energy & Climate Crisis, Inc. The alleged “urgency” of replacing fossil fuels with “eco-friendly renewable energy” (to prevent catastrophic manmade climate change) drives and excuses operations that define or barely skirt “corrupt practices.” The arrangements are too convoluted to explain in one article. Even the US Senate’s “Billionaires’ Club” report, Environmental Policy Alliance’s “From Russia with Love” study, and articles by investigative journalists like Ron Arnold and Lachlan Markay (here, here and here) barely scratch the surface. Washington is out of control. The IRS targeting conservative groups, Clinton Foundation and national security scandals, FBI pseudo-investigations and whitewashing, bureaucrats imposing $1.9 trillion in economy-crushing regulations that ruin families and communities – with virtually no perpetrators ever held accountable. Read the essay here 16:12

Martin Associates Study: Port of New Bedford has $9.8 billion value

The Port of New Bedford had a $9.8 billion economic value in 2015 and generates more than 36,000 jobs in the region, according to a new state-funded study that city and waterfront leaders hope will spur additional state investment in harbor dredging and other improvements. The study indicates the local port’s economic impact is comparable to that of the Port of Boston, which generated more than 50,000 jobs and had a total economic value of $4.6 billion in 2012, according to Martin Associates. The Pennsylvania-based firm also studied the Port of Boston’s economic impact in 2006, for the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), and has examined economic impacts of seaport activity in more than 120 U.S. and Canadian ports, from Seattle to Tampa. Martin Associates also conducted the $80,000 Port of New Bedford study, which was funded by a grant from the state’s Seaport Economic Council and included interviews and surveys with 147 companies involved in local harbor-related business. Ed Anthes-Washburn, port director for the city’s Harbor Development Commission, said much of that impact comes from the waterfront’s seafood processing industry — and called the study’s results eye-opening. Read the story here 14:01

The salt and pepper revolution

I gave the following speech on Oct. 27th at the Albatros Hotel in Gander to start the founding convention of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL). Salt and pepper refers to the hair colour of most harvesters, who are middle aged or older. Ryan Cleary – Good morning, Welcome to the founding convention of the Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador — or FISH-NL. I ran into a fine crowd in the hotel this morning from Francois on the south coast. They came a long way to get here — a three-hour boat trip, and then a six-hour drive. One of the men in the group told me, “We’d better make this worth his while.” We’ll do our best, you can be assured of that. B’y, I don’t know about you, but I think the name FISH-NL has a real ring to it. Fish is why we’re here, fish will keep us here. Read the rest here 11:02:26

Jarvis Green: NFL Defensive End Turned Shrimp Entrepreneur

The first thing Jarvis Green wants to know, as we sit across the table from each other in the faculty cafeteria at Babson College, is which of the many nearby schools-that-start-with-the-letter-B houses my radio station. “Oh, Boston University?” He says. “I’m trying to do something with Boston University.” The next thing I know, we’re talking about Green’s plans to sell pre-cooked shrimp to college students with “value added sauce packets” so they “can’t mess it up.” And if those aren’t phrases you’d expect to hear from a former defensive end, you’re not alone. “I used to play football in the NFL. Won my two Super Bowls. I never thought I’d be doing this, you know. Learning price points. Understanding what it costs to get a shrimp out of the water.” Jarvis Green isn’t in the shrimp business because he needs the money. Sure, he could use more – he says we all could. Jarvis Green is in the shrimp business because … well, let’s start at the beginning. Read the story here 09:50

Iceland may become first nation ruled by ‘pirates’

The small island nation of Iceland may soon be the first modern country ruled by pirates. Not swashbuckling bandits with eye patches, but political pirates bent on rooting out corruption and transforming society through direct democracy. Their brand of politics is hacktivism meets revolution. Dominated by young people, the Pirates have grown from their founding in 2006 as a small Swedish movement battling restrictive copyright law into a quasi-mainstream political force. “The fisheries is a very big industry that has corruption problems,” says McCarthy on a drive through Keflavik, a city that used to be home to one of the most robust fishing industries in the country. “Tackling corruption in the fishing industry, and building a fair fisheries management system is absolutely crucial.” Quotas for cod and other fish were handed out by the government decades ago to the larger fishing companies in power, and they are now bought and rented out by large corporations for significant profit. Small fishermen can’t compete. Entire villages have had their quotas bought and moved away so there is no fishing left for the local population. Read the story here 08:11

Coast Guard Station Cortez rescues 2 after boat takes on water near Anna Maria Island

The Coast Guard rescued two men Saturday after the 40-foot boat the two men were on began to take on water 13 miles west of Anna Maria Island. At 3:30 a.m., watch standers from Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg received a mayday call via VHF-FM marine band radio channel 16 from the crew aboard the commercial fishing boat Barbara Jean. The crew stated they were disabled due to engine trouble and were taking on water over the sides of the boat. A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium boat crew from Coast Guard Station Cortez launched and arrived on scene at 4:30 a.m. An RB-M crew member and dewatering pump were transferred to the fishing boat to begin dewatering efforts. The RB-M crew placed the fishing boat in tow and transported the two men and their boat to A.P. Bells Seafood in Cortez. No injuries were reported. 18:11

Tuna Vessel Operator Convicted for Oil Discharges Off American Samoa

department-of-justice-logoAn American tuna fishing company that regularly unloaded its catch in American Samoa, was convicted and sentenced today for discharging oil into the South Pacific and for maintaining false records, announced Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Department of Justice’s Environment and Natural Resources Division and U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips for the District of Columbia.  The company, Pacific Breeze Fisheries LLC, owned the Fishing Vessel F/V Pacific Breeze, a tuna purse seiner that was responsible for the pollution. Pacific Breeze Fisheries admitted that its engineers failed to document the illegal dumping of oily bilge water into the waters off American Samoa without the use of required pollution prevention equipment.  These discharges occurred on at least two occasions, in 2014 and 2015, before the vessel brought fish to a cannery in the port of Pago Pago, American Samoa. Read the rest here 14:11

Florida-Georgia Water War to be settled in a Maine Courtroom on Monday. Last Chance for the Apalachicola Oyster?

The Flint River, from high atop the bridge on Po Biddy Road, looks nothing like the water-hogging culprit Florida makes it out to be. It’s all rocks with slivers of water barely coursing through. “That’s what paddlers call ‘bony,’ ” said Gordon Rogers, the Flint Riverkeeper. “It should be almost three times as high. And we’re not even in a big-dog drought.” Yet much of Georgia is in a drought — worsening by the day — and the lack of rain, barren streams and dwindling reservoirs buttress the latest “water war” legal battle set to begin Monday in a Maine courtroom. The stakes for Georgia have never been higher. Metro Atlanta’s future rides on the legal opinion of one irascible, no-nonsense Yankee barrister who has warned that neither Georgia nor Florida will be satisfied with his ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court appointed Ralph Lancaster as the “special master” to determine the validity of Florida’s 2013 lawsuit against Georgia and its alleged overconsumption of the Chattahoochee and Flint rivers. Whiskey’s for drinking, as the adage goes, but water’s worth fighting over. Read the story here 13:33

Consider the Lobsterman – Sam Rosen, a fisherman from Vinalhaven, Maine, discusses changes in the industry and how they affect the identity of the island community it supports.

4c1350a2eSam Rosen is a lobster fisherman who grew up and lives on Vinalhaven, a town on an island off the coast of Maine with a year-round population of about 1,200 people. According to Vinalhaven’s chamber of commerce, roughly half of the island’s economy comes from lobster fishing and “related support activities.” For The Atlantic’s ongoing series of interviews with American workers, I spoke with Sam about starting his job at a young age and how he is faring with the obstacles currently shaping the industry. The interview that follows has been edited for length and clarity. Jeremy Venook: How did you get into lobster fishing? Sam Rosen: For most people on the island, regardless of gender, if you have a parent that runs or works on a boat, it’s likely that you’ll spend some amount of your childhood working with them. If you don’t have any interest in it you probably won’t, but most kids that age are into boats and living creatures and whatever. You get to play with fish and crash around in a boat all day. In my case, my dad had me hauling a few traps from the time I was 4 or 5 years old. Then you work your way up to more traps as you get older, and eventually get your own boat. For me, my dad built me a boat when I was 11 or 12. Read the interview here 11:40

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Marine deputy gets down and dirty to find resource violators

guerra2Willy Guerra keeps a dry uniform ready at home because his clothes are often wet from jumping into Florida Keys waters to catch criminals. Guerra, the chief Monroe County Sheriff’s Office marine deputy who is based in Marathon, is no stranger to hiding out and waiting to catch those who would deplete the Keys’ natural resources — fish and lobster in particular. Since he became a marine deputy in 2005, Guerra’s hidden in a garbage can, on top of a sewer treatment plant and in mangroves, staking out criminal activity at all hours of the day and night. Tuesday, the Marathon City Council commended Guerra with a plaque for his efforts. One particular case from 2015 involving a man from Miami who was prosecuted for stealing lobster in Marathon was highlighted. Bill Kelly, executive director the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen’s Association, said George Vargas worked for at least three years in Marathon poaching lobster. In one night, Guerra caught Vargas with 267 wrung lobster tails of all sizes. They weighed out at 225 pounds with a commercial value of $4,205. “He made $723,000 in a year if he worked all year and we know he did that for at least three years, so we’re talking $2.16 million he absconded with from the men and women in the commercial fishing industry,” Kelly said. Read the story here 09:51

South Atlantic Region Offshore oil surveys to start as seismic testing opposition grows

5807cfdaa90fb-imageNearly a half million commercial fishing families have joined the opposition to seismic testing for oil and natural gas in the Atlantic Ocean, according to a South Carolina-based business chamber. Meanwhile, a first, non-seismic survey is set to start.  The families, numbering more than 400,000, are part of a coastal residents and business movement that has coalesced into the tens of thousands in South Carolina alone. More than 100 Atlantic coastal communities, thousands of businesses and more than 1,000 elected officials also have called on President Barack Obama to stop the testing, according to South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce and Oceana, an environmental advocate. Meanwhile the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management continues to process permit applications from seven probe applicants, including six that want to search in waters off South Carolina. “BOEM is currently in the process of reviewing those permits. Before the permits can be issued, careful environmental analysis is done to ensure the safety of the marine ecosystem,” spokeswoman Caryl Fagot said. Read the story here 09:26

Alert over salmon deaths crisis on Scots fish farms caused by infectious disease

scot farm salmon diseaseConservationists have called for government action after raising concerns that hundreds of thousands of fish have died from an infectious disease in salmon farms in Hebrides and Wester Ross. The Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland has called on Scottish ministers to intervene to protect wild fish after an outbreak of Amoebic Gill Disease (AGD). It is understood that four farm sites have been affected including West Loch Tarbert and East Loch Tarbert on Harris, Loch Greshornish on Skye and the Isle of Ewe in Wester Ross. Marine Harvest salmon farms have been particularly affected, it is said. The news comes just two weeks after Prince Charles visited the Marine Harvest salmon farm in Kinlochleven the Highlands to observe work on its “cleaner fish” project. Salmon and Trout Conservation Scotland said that up to 25 per cent of the stock at the afflicted sites are understood to have been lost, with dead fish transported to Wigan in Greater Manchester for incineration. Read the story here 08:53

25 years ago, the crew of the Andrea Gail was lost in the ‘perfect storm’

At the heart of Gloucester, America’s oldest seaport, visitors will find an eight-foot-tall bronze fisherman at the wheel of his ship. Engraved at the base of the Gloucester Fisherman’s Memorial are the names of more than 3,000 residents who were lost at sea and the following words: “They that go down to the sea in ships, 1623-1923.” Twenty-five years ago, one ship in particular gained national fame when it was lost during the “perfect storm” of 1991. The “storm with no name” claimed the lives of six fishermen and the captain and crew of the Andrea Gail, a disaster that was later chronicled in Sebastian Junger’s bestselling book and a film starring George Clooney. The storm left a trail of destruction from Nova Scotia to Florida, killing 13 people and causing close to $500 million in damage as it lashed the coast from Oct. 26 through Nov. 1 of that year. Read the story here 08:12

New Bedford again tops nation for dollar value of fishing catch

new-bedford-top-value-portThe city’s port has again topped the country for dollar value of its fishing catch, NMFS reported this week, citing 2015 landings worth $322 million. That marks 16 years in a row that New Bedford has held the top-value title, which is thanks largely to scallops. Dutch Harbor, Alaska, again was tops for total volume of catch, landing 787 million pounds last year.  “The scallop industry has put New Bedford at the top of the food chain, as it were, of fishing ports for the last 16 years — that’s a very impressive streak,” said Ed Anthes-Washburn, port director for the city’s Harbor Development Commission. “It really shows the impact of scallops but also the impact of cooperative research.” In the 1990s, SMAST scientists Brian Rothschild and Kevin Stokesbury pioneered innovations in counting scallops, with cameras tested and used on local scallopers. The resulting data affected stock assessments by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), ultimately leading to larger catch quotas and helping secure steady catches for waterfront businesses. Read the rest here 19:52

Processors working with harvesters on budget plan

Fish harvesters and processors might not agree on much, but everyone hates taxes. Commercial fishing stakeholders took turns in 2016 tearing apart a commercial fisheries tax plan from Gov. Bill Walker that the Legislature batted around during the marathon session but eventually dropped. The industry has such diverse needs and complex features that the bill couldn’t hit the revenue target without hurting one industry segment more than another. Stakeholders also objected to a holdup with a range of other industry taxes introduced by Walker. As none of the other taxes moved out of committee, House Fisheries Committee Chair Rep. Louise Stutes, R-Kodiak, tabled the fishing taxes until she could be sure the industry wouldn’t take a hit none of the other industry’s would face. Months later, Walker bundled the fisheries tax into a bill with mining and fuel taxes. The bill stalled. Fisheries stakeholders might have a fix. At an October meeting of the United Fishermen of Alaska, the state’s largest harvester group, fishermen decided to knock heads together instead of against the legislative wall. Read the story here 17:44

Ross Sea marine park announced, but concerns linger over expiry date

58128d8158d9d_558ea2adb0629d53689907258083b54bd3a938f4The world’s largest marine protected area will be created in Antarctica’s waters in an global agreement made in Hobart. “It has been clearly established that fully protecting large parts of the ocean is critical to mitigating the effects of climate change”, he said. Ukraine, China and Russian Federation had expressed concerns in the past, with Russian Federation becoming the final holdout before the deal was made. “The Ross Sea Region [Marine Protected Area] will safeguard one of the last unspoiled ocean wilderness areas on the planet ― home to unparalleled marine biodiversity and thriving communities of penguins, seals, whales, seabirds, and fish”, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “Seventy-two percent of the MPA will be a “no-take” zone, which forbids all fishing, while other sections will permit some harvesting of fish and krill for scientific research”, the commission explained. There will be a blanket ban on commercial fishing across about three-quarters of that area. Read the rest here 16:28

Coast Guard conducts multiple rescues off Ocean City, Maryland

nordicprideCoast Guard crews rescued two boaters in two separate cases off Ocean City Thursday afternoon. At approximately 12:30 p.m., watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Maryland-National Capital Region received notification from the 90-foot vessel Instigator of a 64-year-old male suffering from a possible heart attack. A Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, N.C., MH-60 aircrew was diverted from training to rendezvous with the vessel almost 45 miles off Ocean City. At approximately 1:30 p.m., the aircrew hoisted the man from the vessel and brought him to Peninsula Regional Hospital in Salisbury in stable condition. Sector Maryland-NCR watchstanders received a second radio call at 12:40 p.m., from the fishing vessel Nordic Pride of a passenger experiencing pain near his kidneys since 2 a.m. A rescue boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Ocean City, with Ocean City EMS aboard, was launched. At 2:24 p.m., the boatcrew arrived at the vessel’s location 17 miles off Ocean City. The boater was brought aboard and taken back to the Coast Guard station and transferred to awaiting EMS in stable condition. link 11:41

Marine protection for Bay of Fundy pushed by baykeeper

matthew-abbottThe New Brunswick Conservation Council’s Fundy baykeeper wants to see Ottawa move ahead with plans to designate much of the Bay of Fundy as a marine protected area. Matthew Abbott attended an open house held by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans in St. George on Wednesday and said there were many “lively discussions” about the future of the bay. Sixteen areas which are considered to be ecologically sensitive have been identified by DFO. “There’s quite a cluster of [habitats] in southwest New Brunswick around Grand Manan, Deer Island, Campobello Island and right in … to Passamaquoddy Bay,” Abbott said. “Marine protected areas can be relatively smaller sites spread around or it could be a larger site that has zones. Some places for fishing — maybe a small area where there isn’t fishing.” Read the rest here 10:54

Mackerel fishery closed unexpectedly, leaving some P.E.I. fishermen without enough bait

2010-08-10-10-42-52-mackerelAtlantic Canada’s commercial inshore mackerel fishery closed early for the first time in the fishery’s history, and some Island fishermen don’t have enough bait.  The chair responsible for mackerel with the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, Chuck White, was shocked when he got the news. “Wow, it’s never been closed before,” said White.  He said it’s leaving some fishermen in a tight spot. At least half the fishermen he has spoken with in Eastern P.E.I. don’t have enough bait for next year’s lobster season.  “There’s some guys saying they still need some bait, and if the fishery’s closed, not to be reopened, then they’re going to be looking at buying it come spring.” White said it’s much cheaper for fishermen to fish the bait themselves and freeze it over the winter, something many of them do in November. More than 1,200 P.E.I. fishermen catch mackerel commercially. Read the story here 09:24

Bristol Bay Red King Crab Fishery Starts Strong Despite Low Stock Assessment

The red king crab fishery is off to a booming start in Bristol Bay, despite predictions of a down season. The fleet has caught two-thirds of its quota in just a dozen days, and managers say fishermen are unloading big, beautiful crab at the dock. Gordon Christiansen is a commercial fisherman with more than 40 years of experience in Bering Sea. This season, he said the crab were especially voracious eaters, quick to fill the pots dropped by his crew on the F/V Aleutian Mariner. “From the time we set pots in the water, we were done in 60 hours,” said Christiansen. “It was amazing, tremendous fishing. We’d like to go out again and do it again tomorrow.” Having already harvested their 120,000-pound allocation, his seven-vessel fleet is finished for the season. The average crab from their haul weighed just over seven pounds — a half-pound larger than normal, according to Christiansen. Read the story here 09:07

The $100 Million U.S. Government Fish Farm Nobody Wants

NOAA ScientistIf someone offered you a chance to invest millions of dollars in a business nobody wants, would you take it? If you’re the U.S. government, the answer is a resounding yes. Since 2007, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration—despite major political, social, and environmental headwinds—has poured almost $100 million (PDF) into aquaculture, also known by the more pedestrian moniker of fish farming. Currently, American aquaculture is done only in state waters within a few miles of the coast. (Think farmed salmon.) But the government is trying to go further out to sea, into federal waters, to create an offshore aquaculture industry. After NOAA, under both presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush tried—and failed—to push national aquaculture legislation through Congress, NOAA decided to do an end run around Capitol Hill, creating a controversial aquaculture permitting system in the Gulf of Mexico that promptly drew litigation as well as the ire of fishermen, boaters, and environmentalists. Read the story here 08:33

Stonington first selectman insulted by DEEP Capt. Keith Williams “keep them honest” comment about fishermen

ar-161009893-jpgmaxw960q75Capt. Keith Williams stated “I’ll check when they’re offloading, doing surprise checks at the dock. We’ll go to the docks in Stonington frequently just to keep them honest, and let them know we’re out there.” (click here) First Selectman Rob Simmons has written a letter to state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee, complaining about a comment that the new head of the marine division of the Environmental Conservation Police made about members of the town’s fishing fleet in an interview with The Day. The comments came as he discussed the responsibilities of the marine division. Simmons said this week that the comment implies that Town Dock fishermen are breaking the law or are considering it. In his letter to Klee, Simmons pointed out the long economic and cultural importance of the fleet, and said to “single out Stonington from all of the other coastal towns who support commercial and recreational fishing, and to suggest that we are not honest, is an unacceptable insult.” Read the rest here 07:13

Cape Breton man taken into custody after protesting on roof of CTV Atlantic

A Cape Breton man was taken into police custody after he took his protest over the snow crab fishery to the roof of CTV Atlantic in Halifax. Paul Fraser of New Waterford, N.S. climbed onto the roof Wednesday morning and held up a sign reading, “I want the minister of fisheries and oceans to review my snow crab proposal.” Fraser told CTV Atlantic that he has been trying to get the federal government to listen to his snow crab plan for years, and he wants a meeting with federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc to discuss the matter. Read the rest here 20:37

FISH-NL elects executive, adopts constitution, and looks to a 2017 certification date

The process to formalize a breakaway fish harvesters union began at the Albatross Hotel in Gander Thursday morning. “I’ve never seen the unrest as widespread as it is today. It’s in every corner of the province,” said the leader of the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL), Ryan Cleary, in his opening address. Cleary, a former New Democrat member of Parliament, was acclaimed as president of the union that presents itself as a rival to the Fish, Food and Allied Workers. “We don’t have a lot of money, but we have a lot of will, we have a lot of determination to move this forward, so your being here means a lot,” Cleary told harvesters. “The revolution begins today, that’s why we’re here,” he said. “We’re looking at taking down what I consider as the saltwater mafia,” said Reg McDonald who drove to Gander from Summerside on the province’s west coast.  Read the rest here 19:41

Bill C—228: Federal NDP MP proposes bill requiring fish farming be done in closed containment

Bill C—228, a bill that would require fish farming to be carried out in closed containment facilities, is on the table in the House of Commons and will be given a second reading sometime during the current session of Parliament. The private members bill was first introduced by Fin Donnelly, NDP MP for Port Moody —Coquitlam, in February, 2016. The bill amends the Fisheries Act. The proposed amendments state that licences for finfish aquaculture would not be issued unless they will be carried out in a closed containment facility and that no one shall carry out finfish aquaculture in Canadian fisheries waters off the Pacific Coast unless in a closed containment facility and with the proper license. Read the rest here 17:33

ASMFC scientists conclude Maine’s shrimp fishery should stay shut down

maineshrimp_courtesyofC_SchmidtA scientific committee says Maine’s shuttered cold water shrimp fishery should stay shut down for at least another year. The shrimp fishery has been shuttered since the end of 2013 because of low populations. Scientists say warming ocean temperatures off New England are inhospitable for the shrimp. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says a scientific committee that studies the shrimp reports the species still faces “poor prospects for the near future.” The committee is recommending the commission extend the moratorium on fishing for the shrimp through 2017.  An arm of the Atlantic States that deals with Maine shrimp will meet to make a decision about the coming fishing year on Nov. 10 in Portsmouth. link 15:53

Time, salt air takes its toll on Middle Thorofare Bridge

580eb00dbf46b-imageThe captains of the big fishing trawlers heading out to the Atlantic from Lund’s and other fisheries face their first challenge almost immediately: passing under the drawbridge spanning Middle Thorofare. The channel has a 50-foot opening from upright to upright. The largest fishing vessels are about 145 feet long and 38 feet wide, leaving little room for error. “They’re getting banged up on anything other than a slack tide,” said Dale Foster, Cape May County’s engineer, in a recent interview, referring to when the tide is either all the way in or all the way out, and the water is still. Interviewed this month, Foster said a trawler crashed into the bridge in August, taking a good sized chunk out of a bridge section. The morning of the interview, he said, a sailboat had hit the bridge, but he said they were still looking for some sign of damage from that accident. Read the story here 14:13

Department of the Interior to auction over 79,000 acres offshore New York for wind development

U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper announced that 79,350 acres offshore New York will be offered in a December 15 commercial wind-lease sale. The New York Wind Energy Area starts approximately 11.5 nautical miles (nm) from Jones Beach, NY. From its western edge, the area extends approximately 24 nm southeast at its longest portion. The lease area consists of five full Outer Continental Shelf blocks and 143 sub-blocks. After reviewing comments received on the Environmental Assessment, BOEM removed about 1,780 acres from the lease area due to environmental concerns regarding a seafloor feature known as the Cholera Bank. In a comment letter, the National Marine Fisheries Service identified the Cholera Bank feature as a sensitive habitat to be avoided for the placement of structures. As a result of this removal, the revised lease area will be approximately two percent smaller than the lease area considered in the Proposed Sale Notice. Read the rest here 13:55

San Diego’s Commercial Fishing Industry Skeptical Of Massive Port Makeover

There are no metaphors here: The boat isn’t life, the fish aren’t dreams and no deep truths lie hidden among the worn creases and fresh scars on Harris’ hands. His voice, a blend of sea salt and gargled pebbles, isn’t a reflection on the primal nature of man. He’s just a fisherman, having a rough day, and will try again tomorrow. It’s the tomorrow that holds all the meaning. In the city once hailed as the Tuna Capital of the World, Harris and roughly 150 other local commercial fishermen have seen their numbers dwindle against ever constricting catch laws and the crush of foreign competition. Today, in a turnaround, this aging generation finds itself in a position of power: able to make or break a billion-dollar development proposal called Seaport, which seeks to radically redefine San Diego’s waterfront. “There’s a 50-50 chance that we could kill it,” Harris said. But killing it won’t solve their problems. Like every real-life situation, the fishermen’s tale is not black and white. Read the story here 12:04

Breakaway union FISH-NL begins formalization process, will start handing out cards Nov. 1

ryan-cleary-fish-nlThe process to formalize a breakaway fish harvesters union began at the Albatross Hotel in Gander on Thursday morning. The group, led by former politician Ryan Cleary, began registration at 9 a.m. with plans to adopt a constitution and elect officers in the afternoon. Following Thursday’s meetings, the group known as the Federation of Independent Seafood Harvesters (FISH-NL) will submit an application to the labour board, which will check with all registered fish harvesters in the province to see if there is a majority of 50 per cent plus one support. Read the story here 10:11

National Marine Fisheries Service issues annual report on Fisheries of the United States, 2015

noaa nmfs logoThis publication is the annual National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) yearbook of fishery statistics for the United States for 2015. The report provides data on U.S. recreational catch and commercial fisheries landings and value as well as other aspects of U.S. commercial fishing. In addition, data are reported on the U.S. fishery processing industry, imports and exports of fishery-related products, and domestic supply and per capita consumption of fishery products. Information in this report came from many sources. Field offices of NMFS, with the generous cooperation of the coastal states and Regional Fishery Information Networks, collected and compiled data on U.S. commercial landings and processed fishery products. The NMFS Fisheries Statistics Division in Silver Spring, MD, managed the collection and compilation of recreational statistics, in cooperation with various States and Interstate Fisheries Commissions, and tabulated and prepared all data for publication. Sources of other data appearing in this publication are: U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Read the press release here, Read the full report here 09:34

Regulators increase menhaden quota – “Science says the stock’s in good shape,”

menhadenRegulators voted Wednesday to increase the annual quota for menhaden in 2017, giving Maine lobstermen a welcome boost in the supply of a popular bait fish, but no relief for Maine fishermen who want a bigger share of the national menhaden harvest. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has struggled to set its quota for the oily forage fish, also known as pogey, with members split between wanting to maintain the annual menhaden catch at 187,880 metric tons and those who say the stock has rebounded enough to raise the quota. On Wednesday, as the commission gathered for its annual meeting in Bar Harbor, the menhaden board voted 16-2 to increase the annual quota by 6.5 percent, to 200,000 metric tons, with Pennsylvania and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holding out for keeping the quota unchanged. “Science says the stock’s in good shape,” said Bill Adler of the Massachusetts Lobstermen’s Association. “I find it difficult that we can deal with overfishing, we can do a good job of cutting things down, but then we have success and we don’t know what to do with it.” Read the rest here 08:07

MREP bridging trust gaps between fishermen, scientists and regulators

mrep2In most coastal areas of the United States where fishing is a significant part of the economy, it’s taken for granted that fishermen and regulators don’t think fondly of each other. Fishermen are convinced regulators don’t know what they’re doing. Regulators are frustrated that fishermen don’t put much stock in their scientific assessments. This mistrust has real consequences. Fishermen begrudge – and sometimes flaunt – regulatory decisions. Regulators come off as vengeful or pedantic. Meetings between the two parties devolve into shouting matches. Scientific conclusions get ignored or flaunted, and opportunities for improving the accuracy of stock estimates through greater participation are lost amidst the acrimony. About 15 years ago, two members of the New England fishing industry, John Williamson and Mary Beth Tooley, created the Marine Resource Education Program (MREP) with the goal of initiating a more positive era of fisher-regulator relations. Read the story here, two pages 21:09

Poor Ocean Conditions Hit West Coast Fisheries Hard

value-nw-fisheriesUnited States commercial fisheries are doing fine overall, but fishermen on the West Coast are hurting.  An 2015 annual report out Wednesday from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows a stark fall-off in the big seafood money-makers in the Pacific Northwest.  Nationally, 2015 was an above average year in terms of catch rate, commercial value and national seafood consumption.  “On dinner plates, the average American added nearly an extra pound of seafood,” said Richard Merrick, Chief Scientists of NOAA Fisheries during a call with reporters. But this rise in consumption didn’t really help the Oregon and Washington fishing industry because the crab and fish weren’t there to catch.  NOAA Fisheries scientists are attributing the low West Coast returns to abnormal conditions in the Pacific that are linked to climate change.  Read the story here 19:11

C.G. Cutter Tamaroa “Perfect Storm” ship to be part of first wave of renewed NJ reef program

One of Northfield resident Jim Yost’s favorite memories of the Coast Guard’s famed ship the Tamaroa was when it towed to shore a Navy plane that ran out of fuel at sea. “We were towing it into New York, and the admiral was so embarrassed that the Coast Guard was towing in the Navy,” said Yost, 84, who served on the Tamaroa in the 1950s when he was in the Coast Guard. The Tamaroa, a former World War II ship that was also featured heavily in the book and film “The Perfect Storm,” is expected to be sunk off the coast of Cape May by the end of the year, according to New Jersey and Delaware officials. It will become one of the first vessels submerged since the return of New Jersey’s artificial reef program earlier this year. Read the story here 16:27

Shrimp size on the rise after Hurricane Matthew

580e3b33ae227-imageIn the midst of fallen trees and other debris, Hurricane Matthew left a sweet little calling card: shrimp, big ones. The storm’s rain and river flooding evidently washed large white shrimp out to the commercial grounds offshore, at least in spots, and some commercial boats are reporting some of the biggest shrimp of the season, hoisting their optimism in a year that’s had its ups and downs. The current cold snap evidently slowed down the catch somewhat. But shrimpers expect it to come back and are looking forward to another big run before frigid winter weather sets in. Shem Creek shrimper Tommy Edwards didn’t net much offshore on Monday, after pulling in hundreds of pounds per day on recent trips. But he expected that to change mid-week, and “the big white shrimp are looking beautiful right now,” he said. “Oh yeah, they’re gorgeous,” Tina Toomer of the Bluffton Oyster Co., said about the catch her husband, Larry Toomer, has been bringing in. Read the story here 13:58

Athearn Marine Agency Boat of the Week: 49′ 6″ Fiberglass/Wood Lobster/Gillnetter, 300HP, 6 Cylinder Cummins 855 Diesel

Specifications, information and 10 photo’s click here To see all the boats in this series, Click here 12:24:51

Shrimp Fishermen discover body of missing Cuban floating in Gulf of Mexico

fishermen_1477451885528_6633250_ver1-0A group of Texas fishermen made a gruesome discovery while out shrimping in the Gulf of Mexico. What they first thought was trash floating in the water was really a man’s body, found decomposing on a makeshift raft. It was Jonathan Pena’s first time out on a shrimp boat when he made the unlikely discovery of a man’s body, found adrift at sea. He documented the finding on his cell phone. “That’s when it was just like, wow, wow, wow, wow,” he said as he played back the video for us. The 24-year-old described what he saw as a decomposing body of a bearded man, laying half naked on top of an inflatable tube, with a pod of dolphins swimming nearby. “That’s the first thing that really affected me, was seeing how gruesome it was and that he put himself in that situation just to come over here,” he said. “That’s what really stays with me the most.” Video, read the story here 11:25

Paul Fraser continues his Sno Crab protest in Halifax

Paul is a Lobster Fisherman out of Cape Breton and has been ignored a Snow Crab License, he has been trying to get DFO to review his Snow Crab Proposal for years with no luck, certain people that have recieved these licenses have been related to or friends of the people handing these out, unfair practice, these licenses are hard to get. 10:57

Andrzejczak & Land Aquaculture Bill Heads to New Jersey Governor’s Desk

new jerseyLegislation Assemblymen Bob Andrzejczak and Bruce Land sponsored to promote aquaculture in New Jersey recently gained final legislative approval in the Senate. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk. Aquaculture involves fish or shellfish farming, and refers to the breeding, rearing and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, bays and the ocean. As chair of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee, Andrzejczak led recent tours of aquaculture research centers and farm locations throughout Cape May County, including the Rutgers Aquaculture Innovation Center, the Rutgers Haskin Shellfish Research Laboratory and the Green Creek Oyster Fishery. Read the rest here 09:16

State of California officials optimistic for crab season: Coast Guard to begin safety inspections

dungenesscrabThe upcoming Dungeness crab season appears to be headed in a good direction and authorities are reminding fishermen to begin checking their safety equipment in preparation for the season, according to the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Coast Guard. Coast Guard officials are set to being inspecting crab-fishing vessels next month on Nov. 8, 9 and 10 at commercial fishing ports from Monterey to Crescent City. The safety checks are part of the Coast Guard’s Operation Safe Crab, an outreach initiative intended to reduce fatalities and accidents during the season. During the safety checks, Coast Guard personnel check vessels for the required lifesaving equipment, pot-loading practices affecting stability and vessel watertight integrity, according to the Coast Guard. Commercial crab fishing is an inherently dangerous job and West Coast crabbing vessels reportedly have a high fatality rate, Coast Guard officials said. Read the story here 08:32

Greens fight and fuss but shark nets are coming

b88397553z1_20161025142244_000ghccc9qb2-0-8l3f4vbng44hk3y94n2_ct620x465A SPATE of shark attacks and failed attempts to find an eco-friendly alternative means mesh nets known to kill dolphins and other non-shark species are almost certain to be rolled out at New South Wales North Coast beaches. The NSW Government has reversed its opposition to installing the nets and announced plans to launch a six-month trial on the North Coast before the summer holidays. The policy shift brings the government in line with NSW Labor, meaning the shark net legislation will pass through parliament when introduced next month despite Greens opposition. Primary Industries Minister Niall Blair said he wanted to get the nets into the water “as soon as possible”. “Marine life is important, which is why DPI’s world-leading fisheries experts are investigating how mesh nets might be improved to avoid unnecessary entanglements, but protecting human life is our first priority,” he said. Read the rest here 08:07

Sport Fishing Industry Voices Concern With Possible Offshore Sanctuary Idea; Official Provisions Sought Before Designation Considered

baltimore-canyon-smallOn the same day the National Aquarium announced it was seeking an Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Baltimore Canyon off the coast of Ocean City, aquarium officials attempted to reassure the sportfishing community a successful designation would not impact the fertile fishing grounds. When the National Aquarium announced on Monday it was seeking the nation’s first Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation for the Baltimore Canyon off the coast of Ocean City, the knee-jerk reaction from the resort’s sportfishing community was fear of gradually losing more and more of the heart of the multi-million fishing industry. The overriding fear, and there is precedent for it, is that once the federal government gets its foot in the door, more and more regulations would be forthcoming and access to the canyon for recreational and commercial fisherman would be gradually chipped away. However, National Aquarium officials later on Monday attempted to allay those fears. According to spokesperson Corrine Weaver, the National Aquarium is keenly aware of the importance of the recreational and commercial fisheries in the Baltimore Canyon and seeking an Urban National Marine Sanctuary designation would not impact those industries.  Read the rest here 21:24

Fishermen freed years after capture by Somali pirates

A group of 26 hostages, all of whom were Asian crewmen of an Omani-flagged fishing vessel seized nearly five years ago by Somali pirates, have arrived in Kenya, with both tears and smiles marking the end of their ordeal. “Am so, so happy. Really am so, so happy. For UN, for Mr John (negotiator), for all the world. Thanks to you all,” one of the hostages, Mr Sudi Ahman, said on Sunday. The crew from China, the Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam and Taiwan were seized when the Omani-flagged FV Naham 3 was hijacked by Somali pirates close to the Seychelles in March 2012, when pirate attacks were common in the area. Mr John Steed, coordinator of Hostage Support Partners (HSP) who helped negotiate their release, had gone to the Somali city of Galkayo to fetch the crew of the Naham 3, who had been held hostage for longer than any other crew except one. A retired British colonel, Mr Steed has made it his mission to rescue “forgotten hostages”: Poor fishermen with no insurance who are often left languishing the longest in the hands of pirates. Read the rest here 17:27

NOAA Appoints Dr. Jon Hare New Director of Northeast Fisheries Science Center

hareNOAA announced the appointment of Jonathan A. ‘Jon’ Hare, Ph.D. as the new Science and Research Director for NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center. As director, Dr. Hare will continue the work of planning, developing, and managing a multidisciplinary program of basic and applied research on the living marine resources of the Northeast Continental Shelf Ecosystem from the Gulf of Maine to Cape Hatteras, NC. He will lead NOAA Fisheries’ five northeastern labs and field stations. Dr. Hare will officially assume his new role starting October 31, 2016. Dr. Hare has held various positions with NOAA Fisheries for more than two decades, winning multiple awards for his leadership and administrative capabilities, as well as for his research. Most recently, he served as Supervisory Research Oceanographer and Acting Ecosystems Processes Division Chief for the NEFSC Narragansett Laboratory. In this role he managed division research while also managing personnel and research resources for five different locations in the center. Link 16:40

Species At Risk? Eel decline in Quebec and Ontario could end industry in Maritimes

glass eelAn effort to protect eels in Ontario and Quebec is threatening to shut down the little known but lucrative eel fishery in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. “What is at stake is the livelihood of people in rural Nova Scotia,” said Yvonne Carey of Atlantic Elver Fishery, one of eight Nova Scotia eel fishery licence holders. Another licence is in New Brunswick. Between 130 and 140 people are employed each year netting adult and baby American eels as they enter and leave rivers in the two provinces. This week in Dartmouth, officials from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans will review data collected on those rivers as part of a to decide whether the Maritime eel population is really at risk.  The department is considering a recommendation from wildlife experts to declare American eels a species at risk. Read the story here 14:41

Japanese whaling back in focus as battle lines harden at IWC meeting

Pro- and anti-whaling nations clashed during a key meeting Monday where Japan sought to ease the 30-year-old moratorium on commercial hunts while others pushed for creation of a whale sanctuary in the Atlantic Ocean. Host Slovenia urged compromise for the sake of the marine mammals — some species of which were hunted to near extinction — but member states of the International Whaling Commission soon split into familiar factions. Japan, which conducts a yearly whale hunt in the name of science, which its detractors say is for meat, insisted that stocks of some species have recovered sufficiently to make them fair game. These included the Southern Hemisphere minke whale, Japan’s IWC commissioner, Joji Morishita, told journalists on the conference sidelines. “Many species can actually stand a limited take,” he said. Read the story here 14:04

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice Jamie Campbell rules against Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association

Bay of Fundy fishermen have failed in their bid to stop the deployment of electricity-generating tidal turbines in the Minas Basin near Parrsboro, N.S. In a ruling released today, Justice Jamie Campbell of the Nova Scotia Supreme Court said there is no evidence to suggest irreparable harm will be caused by putting the turbines in the water from now until next February. That’s when the court is scheduled to hear an appeal of the government’s decision to permit the deployment of the turbines. The Bay of Fundy Inshore Fishermen’s Association went to court last week to try to get an injunction to stop Cape Sharp Tidal Ventures from putting two test turbines in the water.  Campbell said the fishermen have legitimate concerns. But the judge also noted there was nothing to suggest that having the turbines in the water for the next four months would have a lasting impact. Read the rest here 13:32

North Carolina Fisheries Association Weekly Update for October 24, 2016

Click here to read the Weekly Update, to read all the updates, Click here 13:19

Why trade deals like CETA have become a ‘whipping boy’ for anti-globalization forces

afp-hf8xzGlobalization has always had its critics — there’s nothing new there, says Fen Hampson, professor of international affairs at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. But given the problems Europe is experiencing now, with high levels of unemployment, particularly among youth, it’s not surprising that free trade deals like the Canada-EU CETA have become “a whipping boy for very unhappy people who are out of work,” Hampson said. And that’s why the backlash against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, he said, is symptomatic of growing anti-globalization sentiments, and may well have played a role in the decision by Belgium’s Wallonia socialist government to scuttle the trade pact between Canada and the 28-nation bloc. Read the rest here 11:33